PezCycling News - What's Cool In Pro Cycling : NAHBS On Tap-2: Hand Made Show ’09

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NAHBS On Tap-2: Hand Made Show ’09
Simply put… This show was fun. While a couple of the better known builders have cultivated a rather “Lord Farkwad” like swagger, passion out-guns BS at NAHBS at the opposite ratio to virtually any other industry event.


One of the guys that has the rare ability to be virtually BS proof while maintaining a sense of humor is Nick Crumpton.



Nick rolled out a few of his newer SL rigs and a few new finish options like the new colored – flat clears laid on the new Cross rig…




You can still see the fairly unique tube sections and carbon patterns with the new finishes, in fact, flat clear makes em pop even more…




He also introduced a new full custom TT rig with current UCI reg complaint tube sets (unless they changed again this week…)



The past NAHBS “best carbon bike” winner laid this new TT bike out in the more traditional gloss clear and the bike can of course be built in TT or Tri specific geometry, and because it’s as typically light as everything else from Crumpton, who’s to say someone doesn’t order out a road bike with the fatter tubes?


Just down the Isle is another Pez Favorite, Parlee Cycles who were walk off home run winners of the ‘best bike stand’ award.


That’s a Pez award, not a show award and the payoff is a beer… Cheers T.


Of course Parlee also had a bike or two and the one with the most initial was the track bike spec’d for Jackie Simes IV.



Jackie’s got the chops on the track winning in the 6 day races despite U23 status but that’s no surprise as Jackie Simes the 1st, Jack Junior and Jackie Simes the third have been winning on the track since just after Americans ran the British out of the states (…er rather just after the British saw many years in advance the dire financial crisis and simply cut us off…).



Parlee also had a fairly spectacular Cross bike on hand…




While neither I nor anyone else ever wants to see me on a Cross bike (at least not near anything resembling a Cross race) I can’t help but want a bike like this just because the routing pops look so ridiculously cool…



And sure Parlee will build you a road bike or two…



And they’ll toss in a few new twists like extended seat masts…




No word on if their new belt drive rig will be for sale or it was simply something to keep production creative juices flowing…

A long way from carbon but easily the most fun guy to have a beer with was Erik Noren of Peacock Groove. Right off the bat I liked him simply for the exceptionally well detailed paint work befitting “the Liberace of bicycles”.



But for those men that could stop staring at the airbrush work and looked down, they would have noticed a stunning copper finish bike with great detail…




Another fun guy to be around is also NAHBS show founder / creator Dom Walker at Don Walker Cycles.

Don has a history rooted in track bikes and a favorite set on display turned out to be the personal bikes of Zipp Speed Weaponry’s Nathan Schickle.



Don also builds a pretty mean road bike, in this case his own personal rig with clean welds and integrated seat tube topped with a shorty Thompson and standard colar.



Look all you want at the bikes on display, but founding NAHBS and listening to the passion from Don and you get a quick lesson in a guy who just loves bikes…




One of cycling’s staples was on display at NAHBS. I mentioned in the last NAHBS article that virtually every frame on display was rocking a headset, or should I say, “the” head set…



Chris King are a cycling icon. King’s head sets and hubs are some of those instantly recognizable pieces of equipment that people just don’t question as relates to quality and durability.

The next step see’s Chris King getting into bicycles.



They’ll come in a couple flavors for the road. A more modest version…



And a version hand built by the man himself, featuring hand shaped Henry lugs and a few other bits that CK can take care of himself…



After all, they do a fair job of machining in their “day” jobs…



Not everyone knows the history but Chris King’s not new to frames, so this will be fun to watch as the bikes will very likely take on some running changes and looks…


Another guy who lands firmly in the “not new to frame building” category is a guy who’s legendary for the folks who genuinely know frame building, Kelley Bedford of the very recently started K. Bedford Customs.



Calling Kelly Bedford a frame builder might be the definition of oversimplification. Decades in the industry in development, design and building should make Bedford a household name but the name you’re recognize first is Serotta where Kelly has been for the past 21 years. Kelly’s branching out on his own was an amicable parting and he’s now building K. Bedford frames and the detail is simply exceptional.



Frankly I am embarrassed and upset with myself for not shooting better pictures of the work as, from end to end, his might be the most completely well finished bikes at the show…



If I was hunting a steel bicycle right now, it would be from a guy who’s not only worked on frames I’ve already owned and loved (including a Serotta, while Kelly was still at Serotta, that I will be reviewing shortly) but also helped train and spawn the careers of a few other builders that you probably have heard of. Kelly, well done.

Come to think of it, Kelly’s bikes (as well as the bikes at Serotta) helped introduce what seems to be an exceptionally high quality bar tape. This was from the guys (er guy) at HandleBra.

Not exactly draped in marketing hype, HandleBra is just getting started and selling it seemed to be as simple as people seeing it on a bike, touching a roll or two in their hands and that was about it…



It’s exceptionally high quality full top leather and unlike a few competitive products, this stuff is damn near unbreakable when pulling on it and wrapping bars.

Like others this also comes in colors, but again, unlike others, it comes in LOADS of colors…



I am a fan of a couple brands of leather tapes on the market, but this stuff is what you might expect to be fitted on the steering wheel of a 1959 Ferrari 250… Ordering isn’t as easy as running down to the shop, but give em a jingle.

So that’s that for this year at NAHBS. Thanks for taking the time to look and drool.


Have Fun,

Charles Manantan


Thanks for looking. If you have other experiences with gear, or something to add, drop us a line. We don’t claim to know everything (we just imply it at times). Give us a pat on the back if you like the reviews, or a slap in the head if you feel the need!

PezCycling News and the author ask that you contact the manufacturers before using any products we test here. Only the manufacturer can provide accurate and complete information on proper use and or installation of products as well as any conditional information or product limitations.

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